Anguilles au Vert

A Flemish dish, Anguilles au Vert (on-GWEE-yeh oh vair) are eels simmered with wine, butter and green herbs. Occasionally eaten hot, it is preferable to serve this dish when it is cold. Fresh herbs should be used whenever possible, but if they are not available, half quantities of dried herbs can be substituted. Such herbs as sorrel and chervil can be included when available. Tender nettles can be substituted for the spinach. Anguilles au Vert can be served as a main dish or, if the quantities are halved, as a first course.


3 oz. butter | lb. spinach, washed and chopped

1 teaspoon chopped, fresh tarragon

3 tablespoons chopped, parsley

1 teaspoon chopped, fresh sage eels, about

1 lb. each, skinned, cleaned and cut into

3-inch pieces freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon salt

10 fl. oz. white wine

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a large, heavy frying-pan, melt the butter and lightly saute the spinach, tarragon, parsley and sage. Add the eel pieces and stir with a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients. Season with the salt and 8 grindings of pepper. Add the wine and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the eel pieces are tender.

Remove from the heat.

In a bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks until mixed. Stir in, a spoonful at a time, 4 tablespoons of the hot liquid from the pan in which the eels cooked. Pour the egg mixture very slowly into the pan, stirring continuously. Add the lemon juice, taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Pour into a serving dish and refrigerate. Serve very cold.

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